Home > Windows > Built-in Vista Components a Problem Built-in Vista Components a Problem Submitted by Rohit Sharma 2007-01-13 Windows 45 Comments The author of this article tells how tightly coupled are the Vista built in modules. As of date there is no known way to fix an individual component in case it gets corrupted. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 45 Comments 2007-01-13 10:43 am hraq Well, I have been using vista final enterprise and ultimate editions (on 2 separate HDDs) for at least a month and during this I have discovered how doggy this OS is. Problems encountered: 1. Mounting network drives 5 of them will cause vista to slow 2x during startup. 2. Installing nvidia dirver 9746 didn’t improve the graphics score or stopped the mouse curser from locking up and freezing sometimes up to 6 seconds which looks like a computer freeze. 3. Had regular IE7 restarts when opening 10 tabs and watching web sites with flash/quicktime/shockwave plugins. Firefox was even more stable on vista 4. searching from start menu will give you results but when you click on these searches it will not start the application associated with it 5. Burning DVD from a network server share with Nero Buring ROM 7.5.9 (100% vista compatible) made RAM reach from 450MB to 990 MB! 6. Getting out of sleep mode will show that your network shares are offline while in reality if you click on them they are online 7. Cannot turn off some hardware acceleration of my graphics card to troubleshoot mouse jurks (greyed out) 8. Huge initial memory usage 450MB after startup 9. dpi scaling messes up the system fonts and windows, ie text overlap windows so some text from popup windows cannot be read. So supporting high resolution monitors are a joke 10. NICs restart are so slow and sometimes eventful 11. selecting text on IE7 for copy and paste task will deform the text and make it difficult to really know what you have selected 12. Windows explorer still crashes and when happens it will take out the GUI with it untill it restarts successfully which is not the case always. 13. Uninstalling applications leaves huge fingerprints on the registery, so this OS seems to be prone for aging weaknesses. 14. Way Tooooooo much clicks for administrators to reach their tools for troubleshooting; tools still confusing and never works as intended especially “perfmon.msc”. 15. Recovery tools on the DVD ROM is very very weak and will sometimes not be able to correct boot sector classical errors which fixboot was able to fix. 16. oh … I cannot continue mentioning more because there will not be enough space for others on this form to write. God help us !!! 2007-01-13 10:59 am lord_rob Vista is the first “latest version of Windows” I’m not interested in getting. I’m typing this from a Debian Sid box which gives me much more often the latest and the greatest 2007-01-13 11:09 am ido50 Me too man, and I’ve just installed Beryl (fork of Compiz). Talk about latest and greatest. When will Vista be able to do this? 2007-01-13 2:15 pm segedunum Mounting network drives 5 of them will cause vista to slow 2x during startup. That doesn’t suprise me. Watch what happens when you move around with your laptop or something, and don’t have your network plugged in where your network shares were. It cannot even intelligently think “Oh, this network isn’t available, I won’t try and mount them right now” – it just spends five minutes trying to mount non-existent shares. This becomes even more of a must with wireless. Mobile computing anyone? Vista isn’t a mobile OS. Burning DVD from a network server share with Nero Buring ROM 7.5.9 (100% vista compatible) made RAM reach from 450MB to 990 MB! You’re burning from a network share there, so Nero will be caching. I also wouldn’t pay too much attention to the memory indicator. It’s as meaningful in Vista now as it is in Linux. Getting out of sleep mode will show that your network shares are offline while in reality if you click on them they are online And they still haven’t fixed that years old chestnut. Lovely. NICs restart are so slow and sometimes eventful This is the biggest reason why I won’t use Longhorn Server in particular, and won’t touch it. Microsoft thought it would be a great idea to turn the clock back fifteen years regarding ethernet reliability, and have needless support for TOE network cards where much that was done by the OS is now put on to the network card. A working network depends greatly on you having NICs that play nice and do the right thing. Given all our experiences with hardware over the years, how likely is that? This pile of junk will be worse than NT 4 was. Wait until at least Service Pack 5 before you’ll consider touching it. 2007-01-13 10:23 pm richardstevenhack Windows has NEVER been a networking OS. Look how long it takes to browse a lousy little workgroup network with ten or twenty machines just to show you what’s there. Look at how if there’a ANY problem with that browse – or the network browser software itself – it just hangs for minutes at a time before giving a useless error message about “maybe you don’t have permission” or “the service is not available.” Look at how often it fails to work even if you have identical accounts and passwords on all the workgroup machines. I have a checklist of maybe 25 things I have to check when this happens. Windows was NEVER a multiuser OS and it still isn’t. And it was NEVER a networking OS and it still isn’t. It’s a joke, is what it is. On a client’s machines the other day, I installed an administrator account for myself in order to do remote management. Most of the machines only had one user account running as administrator (I plan to change that, of course). Some of them had the .NET user also from .NET Framework 1.1. Suddenly every time the screensaver cuts in on a long video editing job they are doing, if the mouse or keyboard is touched on purpose or accidentally, they get the login screen. I have to turn off ALL the power saving, prompt for password and hibernation stuff to make sure this doesn’t happen because who knows WHY it suddenty started happening just because I added an account to the system. I’m aware that Autologon only works if there is a Welcome screen, only one account on the system, and the account does not have a password (why this is even allowed is insane). .NET adds a user account to the system. Somehow, when I added MY administrator account, it trips “something” in Windows to now require a logon following a screensaver reactivation. The issue isn’t that it does this – that’s known Windows behavior. The issue is that it didn’t do it before. It took adding the admin account to trip this on certain machines. Windows is like spaghetti. Touch anything and everything moves. 2007-01-13 11:19 pm Bit_Rapist Windows was NEVER a multiuser OS and it still isn’t. And it was NEVER a networking OS and it still isn’t. This one I have to disagree with, although I will admit its not as straightforward as it should be and it is certainly not configured ‘out of the box’, but the OS itself is designed for multiple users and has been since the release of NT. What sucks is that to actually get multi-user working like it should out of the box you have to do a ton of custom configuration work usually in an AD setting with a domain controller. 2007-01-13 11:18 am REM2000 I have windows XP and installed WMP11, everything i thought went fine. However WMP is unable to play video’s it will open the file play the sound but nothing is displayed. I have tried uninstalling, installing wmp10 etc.. but nothing works. Although Media player classic has no problem. It’s a shame as apart from that windows is running ok. It is really annoying that with vista you will probably have to do a reinstallation, just to repair completely (not hacking/patching it up so it sort of works). Had the same problems with IE7 aswell, frequent crashes on different sites on three different computers. IE6 had some problems but at least it was more stable than 7. 2007-01-13 11:39 am lord_rob Concerning WMP, try an open source alternative be it VLC ( http://www.videolan.org ) or MPlayer ( http://www.mplayerhq.hu ). Both programs can play videos *without* using windows codec, they play them natively. 2007-01-13 2:41 pm macisaac I’m not sure if this is true with installing wmp11 on xp (using 2k here), but I seem to remember in the past that installing the “latest and greatest” wmp version, you still had the old one available. By old, I mean mplayer2, ie. version 6.x, which IMO was one of (if not the) best of them all. So do a search for mplayer2.exe and see if it’s still there or not. As to ie7, yeah, I hear you there. I was using it for a while on an XP install, but after horking that and putting 2000 on instead, I’m not unhappy that ie7 isn’t available for me. Functionally it was nicer than 6 with tabs and all, but stability wise it was pretty bad. Hey, if I want tabbing goodness, there’s still firefox anyhow. 2007-01-13 4:40 pm acobar If tabs with IE 6 is all you are looking for go and install MSN Live toolbar (“http://toolbar.live.com/“). Even so, I prefer Firefox (security and add-ons are a plus). Edited 2007-01-13 16:41 2007-01-13 5:09 pm raver31 I think this is what you are all looking for….. http://www.msfirefox.com/microsoft-firefox/index.html 2007-01-13 8:27 pm sticknick Regarding WPM playing sound and not showing the video, this is most likely because you are missing a codec of some kind. Specifically DivX. Head to the DivX website, download the codec and install. WMP should now show the video as it was intended. 2007-01-13 11:53 am Donny_S Clean out everything in the browser. If there’s a wmplibrary database file, delete it then reboot, the db file should regenerate. If it doesn’t, have WMP search computer for media (tools menu or F3) this will regenerate the db file. Check the WMP options formats tab and make sure the correct boxes are checked. 2007-01-13 1:05 pm StevOS2 Download / install k-lite mega codec pack or Vista codec pack… 20Mb+ with every codec known for WMP. 2007-01-13 1:12 pm netsql If this was Open Source, reporting bugs helps all of us. Why report bugs for a closed commercial system? To help the vendor? So they can raise the prices? Let it be man, let it be. 2007-01-13 2:24 pm Kroc I thought the DOJ forced MS to make WMP, MSN and other components uninstallable in SP2? So why then, can you not uninstall Windows DVD Maker and all the other bundle-ins. I need the disk space, and they can’t be uninstalled; I am not impressed. 2007-01-13 10:52 pm n4cer I thought the DOJ forced MS to make WMP, MSN and other components uninstallable in SP2? So why then, can you not uninstall Windows DVD Maker and all the other bundle-ins. I need the disk space, and they can’t be uninstalled; I am not impressed. As discussed a few days ago, the DOJ required the removal of access (i.e., icons from the desktop/start menu, etc.), not removal of the actual code as other apps are dependent upon the APIs that code provides. 2007-01-14 3:14 am knightrider Hey Kroc, XPLite should be able to uninstall the components. Check it out at http://www.litepc.com Flock is another browser with tabbed browsing that ya’ll might wanna check out as well. 2007-01-14 11:29 am Kroc I’m a Mac user, and anyway vlite (nlite for Vista) is free. And I use Firefox already; so stop with the adverts already. 2007-01-13 3:43 pm PipoDeClown vista gives me that feeling of frustration when installing windows 95 in the ole days. 2007-01-13 5:29 pm speedbuggy I’ve been trying out vista on my acer aspire 5000, its a little over a year old now but still runs XP64, linux and FreeBSD OK .. Vista on the other hand only gave it a rating of 1 once installed and has issues running many of the built-in MS apps but Firefox and OpenOffice run like champs, faster than any other OS. I do have to agree with many points about how as an administrator we’ll have to jump through many hoops to get our work done .. ipconfig can not be run without elevated privaledges that kinda sucked when trying to switch wired networks I ended up re-booting as I was pressed for time (have since figured out that launching ipconfig from the tools section of msconfig solves that problem). Other than the slowness I haven’t had any major issues with Vista, resuming from sleep finally seemed to work so vista has caught up with my almost 10 year old ibook in that area. 2007-01-13 5:52 pm looncraz From almost all appearances the Vista memory model appears to allocate space in a fashion similar to BeOS / Haiku. BeOS can run with 0 KB showing free, with no swap enable, and you can still run another application in all likelihood. This is because ( as ProcessController in BeOS shows ), the system will allocate on page boundaries for each new application, promising more memory to the application than it can actually deliver ( because we can usually swap things out, or just return out_of_memory errors within the applications ( an expected error handling case in any program )) and also ‘reserving’ more memory than it actually uses. So an application which needs 1024 KB of memory has a min size of 4096KB, thanks to allocation provided for growth. Other memory the system may allocate for that application may add on to the system allocated size ( such as the graphics for drag&drop, which get deleted but the space not returned to the system, growing the system allocation beyond the application’s actual usage requirements ( fake memory-leak ). When the system needs memory and some app has claim to an empty page, the system automatically recovers that empty page from that app for storage of the new application. In addition, as the system becomes loaded, and all pages occupied, the system, IIRC, re-pages the memory or uses a free list to enable further storage ( though, often fragmented at that point). This is easy to see in action with a machine with 32 or 64MB of RAM. BeOS can run dozens of apps within a 64MB space, including Firefox and xitami, and all services. I’m doing it now with my house’s slave-server :-). That is, we don’t know how Vista’s memory management will act or improve matters until it is, seemingly, overloaded 2 or 3 times more than you think it can handle. If the system remains stable enough during that time ( which is no problem for BeOS ). –The loon 2007-01-13 6:09 pm Bit_Rapist Nothing has changed, XP was the same way. Screw up IE or something that is buit in to the OS and it can be a dandy time trying to fix it. This guy just noticed this in vista? Uh ok. 2007-01-13 6:34 pm Windows Sucks Has anyone tried to see what happens if something like Quick Time or Safari dies on Mac OS X Tiger? Can you reinstall? can you uninstall. I know I sound stupid but I have never tried. Just wonder how tied in are the bundled apps in Mac OS X?? 2007-01-13 7:05 pm NxStY I know I sound stupid but I have never tried. Just wonder how tied in are the bundled apps in Mac OS X?? They aren’t. They are just application bundles that can easily be removed or replaced. But after years of using Mac OS X I can say that applications usually don’t get corrupted. 2007-01-13 7:07 pm Windows Sucks Yea, that is why I had the question cause I have 4 macs and have never seen a corrupted application in regular usage. 2007-01-13 10:29 pm richardstevenhack Think about it. What IS “corruption”? The binaries don’t update themselves. Text configuration files like on Linux don’t update themselves. Any “corruption” has to occur in the Windows Registry. It’s WINDOWS that is “corruptible” – not (most) applications. This is the dirty “secret” that Microsoft continually refuses to acknowledge – that the Windows Registry is EASILY corrupted by third-party (or Microsoft) programmers who don’t know what they’re doing. “Corrupt drivers”? Yeah, right… Drivers that have corrupted the REGISTRY (or read from a corrupted Registry) is more correct. From now on, everytime you sse the phrase “corruption”, read “Microsoft (or application) bug.” 2007-01-13 7:12 pm liquidnitrogen Are Vista users supposed to reinstall/restore entire OS just because notepad files are corrupted??? 2007-01-13 7:35 pm Bit_Rapist Notepad is a single EXE, if it were to get corrupt its an easy fix. This guy should search for the WMP.INF file and see if he can run the installer again that way. 2007-01-13 7:49 pm liquidnitrogen Okay maybe notepad was a bad example, how about a built-in component such as disk defragmentar or on screen keyboard application? If they get corrupted how is Microsoft planning to give a fix for that? 2007-01-13 8:07 pm Bit_Rapist Okay maybe notepad was a bad example, how about a built-in component such as disk defragmentar or on screen keyboard application? If they get corrupted how is Microsoft planning to give a fix for that? The same way as always I’m guessing, either through the System File Checker, restore points or creative souls who figure out the proper reg hacks and post them to forums you can find via google. 2007-01-13 11:47 pm n4cer Okay maybe notepad was a bad example, how about a built-in component such as disk defragmentar or on screen keyboard application? If they get corrupted how is Microsoft planning to give a fix for that? This isn’t likely to occur due to system file protection. However, if it did, the fix for most end users would be uninstall/reinstall the affected component from the “Turn Windows features on or off” dialog in Windows Vista. If for some reason this fails to fix the issue, most users can either use system restore or use the recovery tools on the installation media. Advanced users have at least 3 other options: 1) If the app supports it, they can use the cmdline to execute the application with a switch that initiates a repair or uninstall. 2) They can mount the installation image (using the WAIK) and get the source files from there. 3) They can use the Package Manager (pkgmgr.exe) or ocsetup.exe (replaces sysocmgr.exe from previous versions of Windows) to repair/uninstall/install/etc., the affected application. Edited 2007-01-14 00:04 2007-01-14 2:00 am cacheyourcash Neither windows media player or the above mentioned components are listed in the “Turn feature on/off” program. How can i find the name of the windows media player component so i could use ocsetup and pkgmgr??? Microsoft does not list the name of such components http://technet2.microsoft.com/WindowsVista/en/library/9a9fe5ed-5cfb… Mediaplayer does not support cmdline parameter so there it could not be fixed directly Edited 2007-01-14 02:05 2007-01-14 3:14 am n4cer Sorry, the cmdline name for Windows Media Player’s package is WindowsMediaPlayer-OC. To uninstall, try: start /w ocsetup WindowsMediaPlayer-OC /uninstall Then to reinstall: start /w ocsetup WindowsMediaPlayer-OC More info and a list of packages is available here: http://technet2.microsoft.com/WindowsVista/en/library/69eee519-55a6… Edited 2007-01-14 03:18 2007-01-13 7:51 pm liquidnitrogen There is no wmp.inf in vista. 2007-01-13 8:11 pm Bit_Rapist There is no wmp.inf in vista. Ah I had not even checked. I ran Vista for a few days and then formatted the HD it was on and installed OpenSuse. personally if I were this guy I’d find the ActiveX component that was installed, drop to a cmd prompt and perform a nice regsvr32 /u on it. Problem most likely solved. 2007-01-13 8:19 pm looncraz It is not normally the application files that become corrupt ( unless it is the fault of NTFS, which I doubt having used that FS for years for some rather intense tasks with never a data lost ), but normally registry entries related to that application. IMHO, the only real problem with Windows, design-wise, is the global storage of the registry. Registry data should be stored with the application data itself, and component registry data should also be spread throughout the system to provide greater safety and performance. ( imagine loading the saved registry values and the application in one disk I/O instead of several if the data is attached to the executable ). The global storage location and access methods means that one app can corrupt another app’s registry, which is idiocy. A global structure for registry entries so that apps can inter-connect is appropriate, but should be limited to interconnection rules between applications only, and should be carefully protected by the system. This system can be put in place without sacrificing compatibility with source or binaries, by just grouping the processes logically that make a registry entry, and store the registry data that process creates in the local area where it was executed, or against the application itself, and run-time pre-determination of registry values can be determined, and changes to that will just cause an update to the memory store area. Really, not technically that difficult, but would instantly enable stability and protection in those applications. This can be done with keeping the global registry as-is, and just providing a direct-copy at the executing application’s location, but that would likely mean checks for ensuring consistency between the local and global entries, and how then would you know if the change made in global should or should not be applied to the local copy ( thereby completely undoing all stability gains and corruption once again resumes, but things take longer because of an extra copy and extra comparisons and hard-drive seeks ). Oh well, one of these days the registry will be replaced.. with any luck. –The loon 2007-01-13 9:01 pm Shaman Oh well, one of these days the registry will be replaced.. with any luck. There is 12 years of investment by every programmer that has written anything in the W32 and now Vista environments, and I strongly doubt that there is any hope of removing the registry cleanly from Windows from this point onwards. (yes I’m aware that W32 was available in the Windows 3.x days as an addition to the OS, god help you if you did) 2007-01-13 9:54 pm eantoranz Can someone, please, redirect this poor fella to paul murphy’s (brown nosey) site so paul can tell him how to get his super vista back on track? Gosh!!! Do I hate that guy!!!! 🙂 Browser: Mozilla/5.0 (Windows; U; Windows CE 5.1; rv:1.8.1a3) Gecko/20060610 Minimo/0.016 2007-01-13 10:51 pm blitze On their next OS project. I believe MS has come to the point where they know they have to ditch their current code base and start with a clean sheet. Maybe, with pressures from Linux, OS-X, and Haiku (don’t count that one out over the next 5 years), MS will bite the bullet and start with a clean sheet in OS design. Doesn’t mean they have to ditch the NT kernel, just all the crap sitting ontop and especially the registry. They can they satisfy compatability running a WINE like environment. 2007-01-13 11:44 pm IceCubed A week ago I (finally) got my copy of Vista from MSDNAA. I wanted to try it and throw it away really. I hadn’t seen a single good product from ms in years. (What i mean is a desktop/workstation OS, win2k3 doesn’t count as it is a server OS) Windows 2k was the last version I was happy with. Installation was easy and simple. But after a reboot no OS would load ( 1st partition is WinXP, 2nd Vista, 3rd Edgy, 4th swap ). Vista’s tool for repairing the OS startup (that tool on the Dvd ) did not help. XP’s fixboot/fixmbr did help, but XP would hang in mid-booting with a BSOD, it complained about some missing files. So i grabed the ultimatebootcd and somewhat managed to fix the problem, after that the only thing left to do was to install http://www.vistabootpro.org/ and repair Vista’s boot manager So i finally was booting into Vista, at that time i was so frustrated I thought I would delete Vista the next time i reboot :] Well the last version of Vista/Longhorn i tried was some Alpha version, and THAT was a totally different OS. I explored vista a little and started configuring it to my tastes. After tweaking Vista, installing an AV, drivers, firefox, skype etc… disabling some services I don’t need, UAC. I found Vista a very pleasant OS to work with. I really like the Per-application-volume mixer. Aero (though not as appealing as Aqua, nor as configuratable as Beryl) was really pleasant to work with. The new Control panel is really great. Vista feels faster than XP on the same hardware. (HP ze2000: 1,6Ghz Turion64, 512 Ram, 4800RPM Hdd, Radeon X200 IGP with 64 shared ram, BCM4318 Wifi with Bluetooth). Almost everything worked out-of-the-box, and every thing else was automaticaly downloaded after an update ( Conexant Ac97 and Modem drivers, ATI beta drivers ) I REALLY don’t like wizards and the default ‘Control Panel’ view in XP, but in Vista I found those very intuitive and easy to use, asides from the “Network and Sharing Center” Of course not everything works fine. I can’t burn CDs from explorer (it hangs at “calculating time…”). After closing/opening the lid, sometimes the display just stays off. But nonetheless i found Vista a very good OS. So in conclusion I would like to say the following: I am a [somewhat] ms hater, really. I use linux/bsd 70% of my time, i hate using windows, and use it only when i must(working with autocad for example). But vista feels like a really good os (or i don’t see the ugly part of vista, yet). I think i will keep it for awhile. PS: why does it use ~8gb? WTF is in /Windows/winsxs ? 2007-01-14 12:03 am n4cer PS: why does it use ~8gb? Mostly cached drivers, application resources, and the page file. WTF is in /Windows/winsxs ? A cache for shared, native application assemblies that support side-by-side (sxs) versioning. http://msdn2.microsoft.com/en-us/library/aa376307.aspx 2007-01-14 12:17 am IceCubed Thanks for the link. 2007-01-15 3:32 am rjmatm I’m just glad I use linux so I don’t have to deal with all of the corrupted files and convoluted hacks for settings files. So, maybe windows is not ready for the desktop? 2007-01-15 12:32 pm Darkelve “This pile of junk will be worse than NT 4 was. Wait until at least Service Pack 5 before you’ll consider touching it.” Hmmm… was NT 4 really that bad? From what I’ve read it seems people are saying it is/was the most stable Windows OS ever… (or was that 2000?).